Che’s Afterlife: The Legacy of an Image

Book: Che’s Afterlife: The Legacy of an Image

Communists, capitalists still buy into iconic Che photo, author says

It is the most popular photograph in history: Argentine revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara stares pensively at the horizon, his steely eyes shielded behind a thick beard and his trademark beret. The shot — taken by Cuban photographer Alberto Korda in Havana on March 5, 1960 — turned the charismatic and controversial leader into a cultural icon.

Now, nearly a half-century later, the photograph is used by communists and capitalists, Marxists and marketers to sell ideas. In his new book, “Che’s Afterlife: The Legacy of an Image” (Vintage Books), journalist Michael Casey examines how this photograph came to take on a life of its own and become the most reproduced photograph in the world.